For several decades, I have had a ritual that I followed that has allowed me to remove myself from my work day when I arrived home. For one hour, I would immerse myself in the stories of Pine Valley, PA, better known as the television show, “All My Children”. By doing so, I was able to leave behind all of the thoughts of work and sit back and relax as I settled into a nice, relaxing evening. But that most important part of my work day has ended as “All My Children” has been cancelled after 41 years and I am faced with finding a new way to separate my two lives.
…I think we all need to have some sort of mechanism that allows for us to leave the daily work world outside of our doors when we return home.
For those who have not been fortunate enough to have an outlet like this in their lives, it may be difficult to understand my dilemma. I have tried lots of things to turn off the work day when I arrived home. There were the workouts and the long walks and watching the news and the heading directly to the shower to wash away the outside world. There were the phone calls and the visits to neighbors or with friends and the participation in other social events. But nothing ever came close to the escape from reality that was provided by this show.
I have tuned in to other soaps over the years but nothing ever came close to capturing me as this show has. I attribute it to the great writing, evolving storylines and really great performers who have continued to create a program that resulted in my coming back, day after day, for so many years. And although I am a truly great fan of TV, no other show of any kind has been able to keep me from becoming bored and turning it off, sooner or later.
I don’t know what I will do when I come home from work tomorrow. I know that there is nothing else that can take the place of my hour of relaxation since there is nothing else that can take me away from reality as that show was able to do. It was never about my having an attachment to any of the cast members or being star-struck. In fact, it was just the opposite as I actually could have attended tapings of the show and spent some time behind the scenes but that would have forever changed my experience of watching this show and I didn’t want that. There is talk that the show may have a new incarnation as a 1-hour daily series online and if that happens, I will be the first one to watch it again just as I have in the past and my hope would be that it is just as perfectly written and performed as has been the case in the past.
I guess that I never realized just how important this escape was to me and how much I think we all need to have some sort of mechanism that allows for us to leave the daily work world outside of our doors when we return home. I have been fortunate enough to have this one for so many years and for that I am extremely grateful. This show has been a part of my life for nearly my entire adult life and work life and it has been the most positive influence on my not bringing home the daily work place and its life. For that I will always be grateful and appreciative to every single member of the cast and crew of the one creation that has allowed for me to be able to completely separate my work and personal lives. For that reason, I will always believe that there will never be another TV show like “All My Children”.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.